Two things to clarify before we get into it, since I wrote the recap yesterday drunk and in a blind rage:
1) I still wouldn’t use those timeouts at the end of the game. The official box score says the Eagles only used two, but when you watch the video back, they used all three. The final one came with 11 seconds left, before the winning field goal. This likely had no impact on the outcome, since the Chargers only gained a few yards thanks to the free extra plays, but at that length – a 46-yard field goal – every inch makes a difference. The Chargers got three yards or so. And with the way the Eagles defense was playing, there was a very real possibility that the BOLTS could’ve gained much more, turning a tough field goal into a gimme. Plus the BIRDS couldn’t ice the kicker. I don’t know, but I feel like the percentages for a positive result are greater by forcing the near 50-yarder and icing the kicker than by getting one last desperation play. It’s not the reason the Eagles lost, but I don’t like the strategy.
2) I didn’t say DeSean Jackson was the reason the Eagles lost the game– I said he cost his team. Which he did. This has always been the debate around D-Jac: He’s obviously talented and a game-changer, but he’s inconsistent and does dumb things. He had a great game… it should have been better. His miscues may have been worth a 14-point swing.
This deep ball– have to stay in bounds:
DeSean got lazy and was looking for pay dirt. You have to know where the sideline is here and make an effort to get both feet in. It wasn’t a great pass, but DeSean had his left foot in, and with a little more awareness and effort, would’ve got his right in.
Have to catch this, too:
Again, not a great throw. Still catchable. If you’re a top wide receiver and a ball floats into both of your hands, you have to catch it. No excuse.
And then the penalty. He takes a dumb penalty on the Eagles’ go-ahead touchdown which costs them 15 yards on the kickoff. Alex Henererererererererereererererery kicked three touchbacks yesterday. But thanks to DeSean’s penalty, this kick went to the 11, was returned 28 yards, and then a goofy fumble gave the Chargers another 20 yards. They only had to go 39 yards to take the lead back, which, given the fact that the Eagles defense was holding an open house in their own territory with FREE THIRD DOWN PASTRIES(!) yesterday, wasn’t hard.
This is the difference between good and great players. DeSean has the ability to be great, but he does frustrating stuff like this that, when added up, can be the difference between a win and a loss. He’s not the reason why the Eagles lost the game – the defense is the number one culprit – he’s merely one of them. You know that you’re going to have to outscore teams. The last thing you need is one of your best players making very avoidable mistakes.
To the poo!
James Casey: You stink. Speaking of avoidable mistakes:
This was actually a good throw by Vick. He had to lead Casey and get it around a defender– it had to be low. And it had to be caught. It wasn’t. The ground just came up out of nowhere! and got Casey. Cost the Eagles four points (field goal on the drive).
Inconclusive rule: This isn’t a catch by Malcolm Floyd…
… but, thanks again, for the second week in a row, to the inconclusive burden of proof, the Eagles lost the challenge because the play was ruled a catch and no camera angle could prove that the ball CERTAINLY LOOKS LIKE IT HIT THE GROUND! Also, Chip Kelly conspiracy theory. He may never win a challenge.
COD Ghosts: This commercial– sold:
Also sold: Is Peyton Manning the most marketable athlete in the world? One of the best players in his sport, no baggage, great actor with ironic deadpan. He’s just so cute.
Flyswatter alert: Vick didn’t have a great first half. Missed some open receivers, didn’t do DeSean any favors on deep ball, and cowered at sight of a flyswatter and fumbled the football in hilarious fashion:
Playcall-signs: Love the Ozzy Osbourne sign. Even better reaction from Dan Dumbdorf: “Ozzy Osbourne! Bite their head off, I guess is what they’re gonna do.”
Of course, his wit was quickly offset by him and Gumbel to Gumbel co-star Greg Gumbel thinking that these were actual Eagles play-call signs (they were held by fans):
I’m convinced that Dan Dumbdorf eats lightly-salted glass before every game. And I’m convinced that Greg Gumbel is secretly plotting to kill his slightly more successful brother.
Now seems like a good time for this Vine, via Brian Hickey, of Kacie McDonnell saying during the FOX Philly pre-game show that the Eagles are “taking the cup this year”:
She covered Flyers camp last week and got tongue-tied whilst surrounded by drunken slobs. Can’t blame her. And hey, if there’s one person who can figure out how the Eagles can win a cup this year, my money is on Chip Kelly.
Necks: Aren’t supposed to go this way:
Thankfully, Floyd was fine (after being taken to the hospital) and his neck’s not broken.
Sconces: WILL CARY WILLIAMS PLEASE STOP JET SKIING RECEIVERS DOWN THE FIELD? LET GO OF THEIR JERSEYS, SON! The refs… they see those things.
That said, give credit to the Chargers offense. The Eagles defense is turrrribbblllle, but Philip Rivers was insanely accurate and made good decisions all day. Holding, and perhaps the occasional maiming, was the only way to stop him. And yes, I just wrote something nice about Philip Rivers. – places two whole quarters in the swear jar –
Points: STOP GIVING THEM AWAY! Both teams. The Chargers had two fumbles in the red zone and the Eagles: 1) James Casey dropped a touchdown pass, 2) DeSean Jackson couldn’t haul in one, if not two, would-be touchdown passes, 3) another was called back because of an illegal formation. The Eagles still picked up points on some of those drives, but they cost themselves roughly 13 points by not executing.
Offense: Despite their miscues, the Eagles’ offense still put up over 500 yards. Chip Kelly is getting players open, and he absolutely abused Shareece Wright, who COULDN’T’VE covered D-Jac yesterday if he used a fishing net. The problem, if there is a problem, is execution. The Eagles could’ve easily had over 40 points in each of their first two games. The scary thing is that they are leaving points on the board. That never happened during the Andy Reid era. He used to eat everything that was left on the board. Did someone say cheese board?!
And they’re just so damn dynamic. In the first half, more traditional run-pass, both of which were strong. In the second half, they ran quite a few read option plays, which were executed flawlessly by Vick. Perfect reads on the defense where he kept the ball for positive gains. The Eagles can beat you through the air, on the ground, with their speedy quarterback, and through some sort of mind-fucking clusterfuck of option plays where they can do any and all of those things and eat your youngest child in the process.
Defense: We know it’s an issue. They were bad yesterday, probably worse than we thought they were. But the Chargers executed every step of the way. The Eagles are going to have to outscore teams this year, and I think they can do that. The good news is that the defense is forcing turnovers, and while they bent more than a cartoon catapult yesterday, they didn’t
break shatter. They didn’t completely shatter. Break but don’t shatter defense— own dat!
Patrick Chung: He’s the early favorite for the King Dunlap Guy Who is Most Likely to Do Something Laughably Ridiculous Each Game award.
Speaking of: OH MY GOD KING DUNLAP OBLITERATED NATE ALLEN ON THIS CHARGERS TOUCHDOWN:
F King Dunlap. For real, F that guy.
I’ve located Dan Dumbdorf’s sore spot: It’s carrying the ball like a seagull carries a sandwich. Dumbdorf is having trouble formulating words as he’s outraged over Antonio Gates’ ball-carrying technique. This is amusing.
Foles: No clue why, with 2:03 remaining and one of the most important plays of the game upcoming, Kelly’s runs a feel-pass play with Nick Foles, who came in for one play. The only thing that happens there is an incomplete pass or interception. RUN THE BALL. Who cares if everyone knows it’s coming. Insane to put Foles in a position to throw the game away. This was my first WHAT THE FUCK WHY?! moment of the Chip Kelly era.
Calling three timeouts and giving the Chargers three extra plays to line up the perfect field goal: This was my second WHAT THE FUCK WHY?! moment of the Chip Kelly era.
In a nutshell: Good offense, bad defense, but too many miscues, wasted opportunities, and dangerous Madden-esque chances taken which all added up to a loss in a very entertaining game. Good news, though! Andy Reid comes in on Thursday, and not even Dan Dumbdorf can out-dumb that guy. Time’s yours, motherfucker.